Neefer Sews, Crochets, Crafts, Swims, and Blathers about Kids and Her Stuggles with an Eating Disorder

Acorns to Oaktrees

They seem embarrassed.

Part of Neefer's adventure in Family Stuff
March '15

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Phlipphlap Bag Part 3

Part of Neefer's adventure in Sewing
Image 1: Front of bag

Part 1: Many pictures of the interiors of the front and back sections (two big, main pockets) with an emphasis on the interior pockets.
Part 2: A couple of pictures of the exterior.

So, I’ve got the bag “lining” sewn to the bag exterior and turned. I was selective about topstitching. The instructions tell you to top stitch all the way around, but the main pockets are made by applying binding to the edges. If I’m going to apply binding there, why top stitch? I haven’t decided to apply binding there. I might just sew the sides together, but again, why top stitch just to sew over the stitching?

Image 1 shows the front of the bag. The front flap pattern is 2 pieces. I pieced the larger piece because I wanted to use that dragonfly fabric, and all I had was a narrow strip. So the smaller piece on the front flap is the brown fabric with a large pinecone print. The larger piece on the front flap is the pieced dragonfly fabric, the orange floral print, and reddish fabric with the off center printing.

Image 2. Front of bag with flap flipped up

Image 2 shows the front of the bag with the front flap flipped up exposing the “cell phone” pocket. I made this pocket using the “large cell phone pocket” pattern piece, but after that I stopped looking at the directions for placement and pocket construction. I’ve made a lot of bags with pockets. I don’t know if I placed it higher or lower than the pattern called for; I stuck it where it seemed appropriate. For the reverse side of the flaps, I used the orange fabric and purple fabric that I used on the main pockets.

All of the pockets in the pattern were like that cell phone pocket. I find that very lacking in the pattern. Of course, part of the point of making my own bags is that I put in LOTS of pockets, and those pockets offer some security (aka a zipper). I don’t understand why purse, tote, and other bag patterns are so lacking in pockets. They are easy. A really good reference is Easy to Make Totes with Zippers by Cindy Taylor Oates. I’ve made a couple of bags from this book, but its real value is in the construction information for pockets and closures. I highly recommend it.

Image 3: Front of bag with back flap flipped up and
back thin flap flipped to front

Image 3 shows the front of the bag with the back flap flipped up and the thin flap in front. This is similar to the image on the front of the pattern. I think the idea is for this flap to hand over the 2 main sections, from back to front, and act as a sort of closure, or maybe it is just decorative.

Image 4: Front of bag with both back flaps flipped forward

Image 4 shows the back flap flipped to the front. The pattern says this makes the bag more secure. I think a closure would be more appropriate if we’re talking security.

I really like the way the bag looks … well, the folded, yet to be sewn into a bag quilty-fabric-assembly. I chose fabric placement with this layout in mind. I’m not sure how I like the brown piece from the front flap poking out. I did not follow the patterns suggestions on size for this piece. I didn’t want to cut down the print on the brown fabric.

I’m debating over what the next step is. I think the idea of using binding to close the sides is less than optimal, but I’m not sure what the solution is. I am currently debating simply sewing the sides together. Of course, if I do that, I could come back later and cover them with binding, so I think that’s what I’ll do.

See all my Phlipphlap bag photos at Flickr.

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Nevada Sunset

Part of Neefer's adventure in General

Photo by Chunguita

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Clean Up

Part of Neefer's adventure in Gardening
March '15

cleanupclean upclean up

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More Cleanup

Part of Neefer's adventure in Gardening
March '15

I forgot to take before images. That one on the left makes me want to tilt my head. I have a path that loops thru the front garden. These are pix of the section closest to the street where I weeded and cleaned up in the path. I used to have a very large cedar of Lebanon in the middle of the front yard. I laid out the paths to go around that tree. The tree is gone, but the path endures. The image on the right is part of the inner loop that went around that tree.
after 1After middle path

It’s hard to tell, but I weeded and cleaned up between the path and the fence. I’m battling oxalis back here.
backyard cleanup

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All cuddled up

Part of Neefer's adventure in Family Stuff
March '15


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After & Chard

Part of Neefer's adventure in Gardening
March '15
Under the Lilac

We have river rock under our lilac. We don’t give that area much water, and the river rock acts as a pretty good weed barrier. I didn’t take a before picture, but you can see the after on the left. It is a lot of work to clean out a year’s debris from around the rock. I don’t have a blower, and raking does not work. Besides, even if either of those worked, I have to get in the rocks to pull the annual California bay tree seedlings. California bay trees are a weed tree. Sure they are native, but they are so invasive. And, no, I do not want a California bay tree grove in my backyard.

On the right is my lovely chard. It has been a good veggie crop this year.

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Phlipphlap Bag Part 2

Part of Neefer's adventure in Sewing
March '15
1. Front of bag

The exterior construction for this bag is much simpler than the interior.

Image 1 shows pretty much what the front of the bag will look like. The orange paisley fabric is the front section and the purple fabric is the rear section.

The front flap is partially constructed; it will get finished when the exterior is sewn to the interior. The lower (brown) part of the front flap is finished on both sides.

2. Rear of bag

Image 2 shows the rear of the bag. The pattern calls for two small extensions on the rear flat; those are the orangey print and the reddish solid. Again, the grey is in interface (wrong) side of the back flap.

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Phlipphlap Bag

Part of Neefer's adventure in Sewing
March '15

This bag looks really cool. I remember when it came out (c. 2002), and I wanted it BAD. It just looked so cool, and it was an opportunity to use a lot of fun fabrics. Could I find it any of the local quilt shops? Nope, but it was in the catalog from Keepsake Quilting. We were headed back to Lake Winnepausake in New Hampshire to visit the in-laws. It’s a bit of a drive from Alton to Center Harbor, but Rob drove me up there. Keepsake Quilting is in a lovely spot on the north side of Lake Winnepausake. They were sold out of the Phlipphlap Bag pattern, too, but they offered to send it to me with free shipping, so I took them up on it.

So about a five years after this, I actually make a bag, but not the Phlipphlap bag. I decide to do another one by the same designers, the Totesalot. In general, I really like this bag. Here’s one of mine. However, there are some serious problems with the pattern, IMNSHO. It calls for velcro closures. I think velcro closures scream “I’m afraid to put in a zipper in my obviously homemade (verses a designer original) bag.” It uses quilt batting, which I suppose, depending on your application is fine, but I think interfacing is easier to work with, weighs less, and produces a less homemade-y looking product. But the biggest problem with the bag is that the instructions have you construct each side, exterior and lining, and then sew the sides together and bind the edges. I think that is a bad way to make a bag. It’s much cleaner, more finished, to make the exterior, make the lining, and then sew the two together.

So another 5 years go by, and I decide to make the Phlipphlap bag using leftover fabric from a top. Do I remember that I made a bag by these designers before? Nope. And I certainly don’t recall that I had some issues with the contrustion methods.

Do I read the instructions all the way thru and make sure I understand what the pattern calls for? Of course not. :*O

I did search the ‘web for commentary of others’ experiences with the pattern. I found one. Daryl @Patchouli Moon had some excellent comments in her critique of the pattern.

1. Front of bag showing the wrong side of the lining
and the right side of the front flap.

So I plunged in and had a blast picking fabrics from my treasure stash. I decided to skip the batting and use denim as my lining fabric. I didn’t interface the denim, but I did interface everything else with a nonwoven, featherweight, black, fusible interfacing.

The pattern calls for constructing the lining and constructing the exterior and sewing the whole thing together around the edges and turning it. The process is akin to a tied quilt construction process.

Phlipphlap Bag
2. Back of bag showing the wrong side of the lining
and the right side of the two (yes, 2) back flaps.

Image 1 (left) shows the lining piece, front view, fully constructed and folded like it would be in the bag. The bag has two large pockets one behind the other. The front pocket is slightly smaller than the back pocket, so in Image 1, you see the front pocket on top of the back pocket. You see the plain denim, wrong side, of the lining and the front flap, right side. There is a line of stitching running parallel to the bottom of the front pocket; that stitching is the bottom of a large interior pocket in the inside of the front pocket. I pieced the front flap from 3 fabrics: dragonflies, flowers on an orange background, and a reddish-brown fabric with a leaf print on the left side of it.

Image 2 (right) shows the lining piece, rear view, fully constructed and folded like it would be in the finished state. There are two separate rear flaps: a long skinny one and a broad one. You cannot see the front section because the back section is larger. The stitching on the denim is from interior pockets.

3. Front pocket closed and back pocket opened to expose lining.

Image 3 (left) shows the interior of the rear compartment on the left of the image. The right side of the image, labeled “front”, is the same as shown in Image 1.

The denim lining fabric is darker and printed with stripes on the right side (right vs. wrong). Just to the left of the dragonfly strip of fabric is a chalked line labeled “bag center”. Just to the left of “bag center” are 3 snaps, and to the left of the 3 snaps is the seam for the two lining pieces. The pattern calls for two lining pieces. I’m not sure why. I mean, why not just cut one long piece?

I added the snaps. The only closure call out in the pattern is the suggestion that flipping the back flaps to the front add security. I suppose it does, but the snaps add a bit more. I think zippers would be even better, but the way the bag is constructed, with the lining pieces and the outer fabric pieces not lining up, preclude zippers.

Back to Image 3, from right to left, you have the wrong side of the front section, the front flap (dragonflies), the bag center, a lining section with the off “center” seam for the two lining pieces, a pocket that stretches the width of the bag (light colored denim strip cleverly labeled “Pockets”), a chalked line to indicate where the bottom of the rear section is, and another pocket that doesn’t quite fit into the picture. That pocket to the far left in Image 3, had a pocket (orange) on its exterior.

4. Rear section closed; front section opened to expose front lining & pockets.
5. Front section showing pockets with flaps turned under

The pattern plan for pockets is lacking. It calls for a couple of exterior patch pockets and interior patch pockets. I decided to put in pockets on all 4 interior sides (front and rear sections) that ran the width of the bag.

On to Image 4, from left to right, there is the wrong side of the rear section (just like Image 2.), the rear flaps (skinny purple, broad orange), the chalked “bag center” line, snaps, a section of lining, an orange pocket with 3 inch to 4 inch pockets, a section of lining (bottom of rear section), and running off the page, another pocket. I used 2 snaps, instead of 3, on this side, and the pockets are the same fabrics as the exteriors of the bag. The pocket fabric is interfaced.

Image 5 (right, under Image 4.) shows the interior of the front section (aka lining, right side) unfolded; the flaps and the rear section are folded under. From right to left, there are snaps, lining section, big zippered pocket with a pocket behind (i.e. the top isn’t sewn down), lining section (bottom of front section/big pocket), orange pocket (pointed in the opposite direction of the zippered pocket), lining section, snaps, chalked bag center line, and the closed rear section with rear flaps hanging off the table/out of the picture. Whew! The zippered pocket is lined.

6. Rear section open to show interior pockets

Image 6 (left) shows the interior of the rear section. From right to left, there are snaps, lining (dark, striped denim), a pocket (light denim), lining with a chalked line to show the bottom of the rear section, a pocket strip with an orange pocket appliqued to the exterior of the pocket strip, lining, and snaps.

And so that’s it for the the lining of the Phlipphlap bag. My next sewing post will feature the exterior piece of the bag.

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Isabel is soldering!

Part of Neefer's adventure in Family Stuff

She made a little flashing heart thing.

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